Telluria review: Political dystopia from a bravura Russian writer


Vladimir Sorokin’s dystopian fantasy is a wild read, mixing political satire with steampunk microstates and a must-have psychotropic drug based on tellurium


16 November 2022

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Medieval hierarchies with futuristic technology rule Earth in Telluria

Preechar Bowonkitwanchai/Shutterstock


Vladimir Sorokin, Translated by Max Lawton (NYRB Classics)

WE ARE in Telluria, a tiny state that gives its name to a novel, recently released in translation. A holy war between Europe and Islamic powers has plunged the world into a neofeudal era of micro states. In one of these lives Golden Throat, a singer whose ballads denounce the immorality of the elite; for him, “the benefit of decomposing despotism” is “rich satirical material”. Unsurprisingly, Golden Throat comes to a sticky end. …

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